News from Rod Barbee Photography
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June 2006 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Greetings
Holy cow this year is going by fast. I took our puppy in for a haircut the other day and carelessly said "it's time for her summer cut" (our dog has hair rather than fur so it grows and grows and grows). Guess I should have been a little more specific.

Bailey is now sporting the latest in doggy buzz cuts. She looks kind of funny since her head, legs, and tail (especially her tail) all have a petable layer of hair, but the rest of her is covered in only about a quarter inch of hair. Summer cut indeed. Looks like she's heading for the Marines. Oh well, it grows back.

The wait is over
 
I know every single one of you have been waiting for this announcement and that your lives revolve around this news: My D200 has arrived. Iíve only had it a couple of days so I really donít know all its capabilities. I do know that its auto-focus system drives my old 80-200 much better than my D100 does. This picture is the first one taken with the D200. It has some problems, mostly due to me just attaching a lens and firing away without thinking too much or setting it in the proper AF mode. I guess that means that one does not even need to think to use this camera. I'll be a natural.
Cameras for sale
 
And since I have my D200 in hand, that means I have a D100 that will go unused. So itís for sale if anybodyís interested. It comes with the MBD-100 vertical grip, the Really Right Stuff L-Bracket, 2 batteries, Thom Hoganís guide to the D100, and all the usual stuff that the camera came with.

I also still have my F100 for sale along with the vertical grip, and a quick release plate for the body. Iíll be putting this stuff on eBay within the next few days so if youíre interested, drop me a line soon.

2007 Workshops
 
I've posted a partial 2007 workshop schedule on my web page. Next year I'll be doing some workshops for "The Nature Workshops", a company that's been around for years and years. I'll be leading workshops for them to Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier, The Palouse,and the Oregon Coast.

I've also posted a few other workshops that I'll be doing with my friend Don Mammoser. We've yet to figure out all the details but we'll be getting to that soon.

National Geographic Guide to Digital Photography
 
The other day I picked up a copy of National Geographicís Guide to Digital Photography ($9.95) and thought Iíd let you know what I thought of it. Overall, itís an ok starter guide. Itís definitely aimed at those who are thinking of getting a digital camera and those who already use a small, point and shoot, digital camera. Due to the magazine format of this guide it canít get too in depth, however it seems a little too light on photographic basics, and some basic terms like ďstopĒ are not defined. There is a good overview of histograms and an adequate explanation of how meters work. Much of the guide seemed to me to be various professional photographers singing the praises of digital. I think some of that could have been left out in favor of more photo tips.

Much of the guide covers what you can do with the picture after itís taken, whether that means ďfixingĒ pictures in Photoshop Elements or sharing them on websites, slideshows, etc. All the pictures have captions noting camera used, shutter speed, and aperture. Whatís missing is, to me, the most important information of all: the lens in use. Also, many of the pictures shown were taken with high end digital SLR cameras and, based on what I can see in some of the pictures, expensive telephoto or macro lenses. In other words, pictures impossible to get for 99% of the readers of this guide. Overall though, for someone looking to get into digital photography, this guide is a good place to start. You can find it in bookstores or newstands everywhere.

Photoshop LAB Color by Dan Margulis
 
Last month I listed this book as one of my favorite Photoshop books, and if youíve been using Photoshop and are getting comfortable with it, I think you should give this book a try. This is not a beginnerís book. If you have some Photoshop experience under your belt and youíre comfortable with using layers, curves, changing color spaces, youíll be able to follow most of this book. It does get a little advanced at times but, as I like to say, if you enjoy factoring quadratic trinomials youíll enjoy this book. Youíll find powerful techniques for correcting color in specific areas of an image, sharpening, and noise reduction. Youíll start thinking of image optimization in new ways and you may even begin photographing with correcting in LAB in mind.

Even if you donít enjoy math as much as I do, youíll still get a lot out of this book. Itís well written, occasionally humorous, and builds on concepts, which I believe is the best way to learn anything.

In Closing
 
That's all for now. I need to get out and play with my new camera. Enjoy the last few days of spring and happy summer solstice!
 

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Rod Barbee Photography | 172 Robin Lane | Port Ludlow | WA | 98365